Tributes paid to Glenn Payne

09 December, 2015

Leading lights in the UK beer trade have paid tribute to much-loved industry titan Glenn Payne, who sadly passed away last weekend.

Glenn was a great friend of Off Licence News, a regular judge on our International Beer Challenge and an ever-present at our awards ceremonies and parties.

Glenn worked as a beer buyer at Safeway from 1997 to 2004 and as the sales and marketing director at Meantime brewery between 2005 and 2006, after helping set up the firm as one of the founding investors. He also ran Beer2Love, a brewing consultancy that advised brewers and retailers on four continents.

He died on a Carmarthenshire beach last weekend, aged 61, and tributes have flooded in.

Meantime founder and brewmaster Alastair Hook said: “Glenn was an institution, something that is always there, writ large, uncomplicated, what it said on the tin.

“Not many institutions are eccentric epicureans with no identifiable geographical abode that sprinkle magic dust and fun on all that they come in to contact with. Not bad for a man so kind of spirit that he would drop his plans at any time in the pursuit of pleasure for others. Not many institutions get away with a sort of glorious unaccountability normally reserved for artists and rock stars. Glenn did.

“And what this meant was that the beer world had an evangelist and a saint that worked tirelessly to improve the lot of others by bringing the best out of them by inspiring relationships with people they thought they didn’t know, or better still, didn’t even like.

“It is easy to get carried away with the euphoria that surrounds the current beer scene. Without Glenn the institution, and thanks to Glenn the institution, we will now all venture forth and prosper. Mission accomplished. 

“Without Glenn, the man, the friend, his whimsical pose and gate, his awful one-liners, perfectly delivered, we will all be poorer people. For that may we pause, and once again in our lives think of Glenn. For once without him thinking of us first.”

Award winning beer writer Roger Protz, a columnist on the Morning Advertiser, said: “Glenn’s greatest contribution was to change the way supermarkets viewed beer. I will miss his knowledge and experience of the world of beer and his uniquely droll sense of humour.”

Fellow beer writer Matthew Curtis said: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Glenn – a true beer hero if ever there was one.”

A drinks event to celebrate Glenn’s life has been organised by the team behind Utobeer, who run the Rake bar and the specialist beer stall in London’s Borough Market.

On Sunday, December 13, from 2pm to 6pm, at The Rake, friends are invited to gather and share a few beers and stories about Glenn.

The team said: “We all know the Glenn was a great one for bringing in a beer and tasting it with whoever was around, you did not even have to know him to get a try. He would be the first to admit not every beer was great but a huge number were exceptional.

“So, with this in mind, we thought it might be nice if anyone coming down on Sunday who had a bottled beer that they would like to have shared with Glenn that they bring it on down to share with his many friends.

“If you have drunk all your bottles that would be in that category then do not worry we will have draught available, which we hope to be a selection of beers we know that Glenn enjoyed –a work in progress.

“Those needing food, Borough Market is open on Sunday from 10am to 4pm. There will be space in the fridge for chilling beers but it would help if the bottle could be pre-chilled.

“All friends of Glenn are welcome to come down and share their stories and drink some of the beers that Glenn helped introduce to us all.”

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